A common saying in the South that we often hear is: “if momma ain’t happy, then no one’s gonna be happy.” The implication is that “momma” is someone to be appeased and pacified rather than loved and adored. There’s another saying we hear, “Don’t tell mom…” Have fun. Be adventurous. Get crazy. Go wild. But don’t tell mom about it. The insinuation is that mom is someone to be obeyed and she would be mad if she knew what you were doing, so hide it from her. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her — or us. After all, “if momma ain’t happy…” While both of these phrases carry some practical advice for staying out of trouble, neither one leads to a closer relationship with momma. They’re funny, perhaps, but not all that flattering.

Don't tell mom fireIs your mother or wife really someone to be feared? Is she just someone to be keep happy? Is the relationship based on simply staying on her good side?

This perception of “momma” is how we often approach the LORD God. “If God ain’t happy, then no one’s gonna be happy…” and “Don’t’ tell God…” We assume that God is too serious. He is easily angered. And we should stay on His good side. So we should hide. Erase. Delete. Don’t make Him mad.

The implication is that God is a kill-joy and that He wouldn’t approve of having any fun. God is to be feared and obeyed or there will be devastating consequences. As followers of Jesus, we are called to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). Sacrifice sounds a lot like suffering. And suffering isn’t any fun. But, nothing could be further from the truth of the Bible.

God wants you to be happy because He is happy. Our Triune God — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—has personality and emotions. He has personally created us in His image to know Him, love Him, and enjoy Him. Looking at Scripture carefully, we find a holy and happy God who wants us to find our holiness and happiness from Him and with Him.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, David, a man after God’s own heart, wrote Psalm 16:11:

“You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.”

Just as glory and holiness are found in God’s presence because God is glorious and holy, so joy and happiness are found in God’s presence because God is joyful and happy. He wants you to be holy and happy because He is holy and happy.

Don't tell mom scaryIn His holiness, God cannot and will not ignore sin for the sake of His great name, but He also provided for our holiness through His Son, Jesus Christ who died on the cross in our place for our sin. Yes, that’s serious. But the reason for Christ’s death was to restore our relationship with a holy and happy God.

God has a sense of humor. He laughs. And He wants us to rejoice in Him - always!

Follow me… as I follow Jesus Christ.

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